A Snapshot on the Cis Chromatin Response to DNA Double-Strand Breaks

Trends Genet. 2019 May;35(5):330-345. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2019.02.003. Epub 2019 Mar 18.


In eukaryotes, detection and repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) operate within chromatin, an incredibly complex structure that tightly packages and regulates DNA metabolism. Chromatin participates in the repair of these lesions at multiple steps, from detection to genomic sequence recovery and chromatin is itself extensively modified during the repair process. In recent years, new methodologies and dedicated techniques have expanded the experimental toolbox, opening up a new era granting the high-resolution analysis of chromatin modifications at annotated DSBs in a genome-wide manner. A complex picture is starting to emerge whereby chromatin is altered at various scales around DSBs, in a manner that relates to the repair pathway used, hence defining a 'repair histone code'. Here, we review the recent advances regarding our knowledge of the chromatin landscape induced in cis around DSBs, with an emphasis on histone post-translational modifications and histone variants.

Keywords: chromatin modifications; double-strand breaks; repair histone code.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded*
  • DNA Repair
  • Heterochromatin / genetics
  • Heterochromatin / metabolism
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chromatin
  • Heterochromatin
  • Histones